Ennis to lead multi-tiered training grant with Alabama State Department of Education

An MTSS is a proactive and preventive framework that integrates data and instruction to maximize student achievement and support students’ social, emotional and behavioral needs from a strengths-based perspective. 
Written by: Tehreem Khan
Media contact: Alicia Rohan

Robin Ennis MTSS Grant Robin Ennis, Ph.D.Robin Ennis, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will be leading the charge with the Alabama State Department of Education to develop multi-tiered systems of support for school districts in Alabama over the next two years.

Through this recently launched $600,000 project, Ennis and her team will provide training to offer educators across the state more impactful ways to assist the students and teachers in their school systems. Ennis will be going into the schools and working with designated teams to review each school’s framework and identify strategies that are specific to each school’s entire student body needs, overall culture and available resources. 

“I hope that, while conducting these training sessions and working with school districts, we will understand each school’s priorities for further professional development to help their diverse student populations,” Ennis said. “Providing a well-rounded understanding of how to provide a safer and more effective learning environment for every student will ultimately help the teachers, the students and the students’ families improve their foundational wellness as a whole.” 

MTSS offers a framework for educators to engage in data-based decision-making related to program improvement, high-quality instruction and intervention, social and emotional learning, and positive behavioral supports necessary to ensure positive outcomes for everyone in school districts. The MTSS framework is composed of four essential components: screening, progress monitoring, multi-level prevention system and data-based decision-making.

The Alabama MTSS framework involves academics, behavior and foundational wellness focusing on nutritional, physical, social, emotional and general wellness perspectives of the students. The project includes five pilot school districts and 33 Cohort 1 districts, bringing the total school districts involved with the grant to 38. The goal of the statewide grant is to have all Alabama school districts involved in this training by 2027.